Kerry won because many voters were looking for a candidate who had the best chance of beating President Bush in the November election, and perceived Kerry to be that candidate.
[O]ver half of the New Hampshire voters, 56%, perceived Kerry as having the best chance of beating Bush. Only 16% of the voters felt that about Dean, and smaller numbers felt that about the other candidates. In other words, whatever else they may have thought about Kerry's strengths, New Hampshire voters became convinced that he is the one who is most electable in November...
Dean apparently still retained a considerable amount of good will among New Hampshire Democratic primary voters even as he lost to Kerry...Dean was more likely than Kerry to be selected on three of [five positive personal characteristics], by three- to five-point margins, and trailed Kerry by only two points on a fourth. These include such things as "has new ideas that would help solve the country's problems," "shares your values," and "is in touch with the average American."
Indeed, the exit poll showed that Dean was the favored candidate among New Hampshire primary voters who said that standing up for what one believes in or the ability to shake things up in Washington was the most important criterion for their votes.
Best New Blog finalist - 2003 Koufax Awards
A non-violent, counter-dominant, left-liberal, possibly charismatic, quasi anarcho-libertarian Quaker's take on politics, volleyball, and other esoterica.
Lo alecha ha-m'lacha ligmor, v'lo atah ben chorin l'hibateyl mimenah.